Carol Rosati OBE
I was the luckiest person in the office when Carol agreed to work with me through the mentoring programme run by our business. During our first meeting, she warned me that everyone she has mentored cries during meetings and I resolutely decided not to. Besides, what did I have to cry about? I had reached a level of contentment at work and wasn't sure where I wanted to go with my career... hardly anything to weep about. It took roughly 45 minutes until the floodgates opened and I found myself delving into experiences and feelings that had long been bottled and stored. She forced me to confront fears and remember mistakes but she also asked me to remember successes and bravery. Both aspects were equally hard to talk about.
Carol is not sweet or professional, she is fiery and opinionated. She is passionate about her work and has high expectations of those around her. In an organisation where being business minded and stalwart is key to promotion, meeting someone so quick to rant, rave and laugh about it was a breath of fresh air.
After a few meetings, Carol confided in me that she had just received notice from The Palace that she was to be awarded an OBE for her work promoting women's equality in business. It dawned on me that other people must find her just as inspiring and that she must have changed a lot of lives. I felt a pang of possessiveness and wondered if she might get too busy and important to listen to my indecisive ramblings. This didn't happen, and in fact, Carol pushed for more meetings and stepped up to write me not one but three letters of recommendation for university applications.
I think Carol is being recognised because she isn't perfect, she lets her guard down and dares to show vulnerability and emotion. She is also strong and unafraid and relentless in fighting for her cause. If we can learn anything from her, it is to believe in our intuition, understand where our levels of influence are and turn the noise in our heads down a notch.
Carol Rosati is Head of Inspire, a global board network connecting over 6000 senior business women. She is also a qualified coach and sits as an independent non-exec director for Southern Housing Group.